I woke up this morning knowing that I have my weekly response paper of 500+ words and my final of 2+ pages to write for my summer class to write for my summer class by June 30th, but this is boiling inside of me as well. I live in Houston, Texas; a city that’s wildly, spiking in COVID-19 patients, to the point that our Texas Children’s Hospital has opened up its ICU to allow adult patients.
I have a complicated view of this decision. I applaud Texas Children’s for opening up their doors for COVID-19 patient’s because if all other beds are full, where are they going to go? On the other hand, I know Texas Children’s very well. My 23-year-old spent nearly 3 months there being premature, born at 28 weeks and weighing only 2lbs. I know there are cancer patients there. Heart patients there. Patients who’ve had organ transplants or are waiting for transplants. Texas Children’s Hospital care for the most vulnerable patients of Houston, and Texas and of the world, because people travel from all over the state and the world to Houston to receive the excellent treatment from the most knowledgeable doctors we have there. I don’t want to put any of those children or doctor’s in danger.
On the hand, I don’t know who made the decision to open Texas Children to COVID-19 patients. Was it Governor Abbott? Mayor Turner? Was it Texas Children’s Hospital? If it was a collective decision that the hospital was a part of? I hope it was the latter because we’ve seen in New York that hospitals are not immune to spreading this virus. The last place that needs to see an explosion of the virus is this hospital. It’s frustrating as a citizen to see this happening, knowing maybe it could’ve been prevented. Our County Judge Lina Hidalgo implored people to wear masks a month ago, but Governor Abbott snidely called her a radical. Meanwhile, as I sit here on my couch recovering from surgery, having been a virtual hermit since May, all I can think is, “Radical? Is that what we now call people who are looking out for the health and safety of others?” Guess I am a radical. I’ll wear that proudly.
Moving on to my point of this post as my time is quickly running out- yes I’m on a timer! We often here the phrase “new normal,” but I think the only way we can handle this virus, especially upon hearing that the antibodies may only last a couple months, is looking at this as a New Way of Life, not just a “new normal.” In my opinion, the way I’ve heard a “new normal expressed,” I think can be interpreted by some, as something transient and something that can go “back to normal.” I think things need to be expressed in a more finite way. This is the way things are. This is the “New Way of Life.” Cut the cord of any expectation of things going back to normal. I don’t think we can fight this monster of COVID-19 and win, if we don’t change our life habits completely and never look back. I think masks are going to be a permanent part of our life until a vaccine is created that works, and works for more than 3-6 months. I think hand washing is a vital part of cleanliness and in protecting yourself from COVID-19, just the same as social distancing.
Our New Way of Life isn’t something that will be easy and isn’t something that will be like by all. It’s the nature of “new things.” But as Americans, it’s also our nature to come together and support each other during dark times, throwing aside differing views for one common goal, in this case- Annihilation of COVID-19! Whenever it becomes difficult- whenever it becomes frustrating to wear your mask or social distance, remember that. Remember the common cause. Remember who you are protecting.
Stay Home. Stay Safe.